Public sector unions to campaign for a rejection of Croke Park II

Unions representing staff at either end of the hierarchy in the civil service are to campaign for a rejection of Croke Park II.




The Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants, which represents 2,700 senior civil servants and managers in the commercial and non-commercial state sector, said it would ballot its members on the deal, but added that it would be recommending a no vote.

General secretary Dave Thomas said the decision had not been taken lightly but it had no other choice, given the pay cuts proposed. Those cuts will impact on its members, many of whom earn over €80,000 and so face cuts of at least 8%.

“The current proposals follow on a range of cuts already absorbed by AHCPS members in recent years,” he said.

He added that senior civil servants and managers had already suffered pay reductions of between 15% and 17% before tax and universal social charge increases were taken into account, in addition to extra working hours.

“Against a background of ongoing cuts and gen-eral erosion in take-home pay and conditions, the current, proposed cuts are simply a step too far.”

The Civil Public and Services Union will today announce details of its “nothing more to give” campaign.

The CPSU walked out of Croke Park talks on Sunday night saying its 12,000 lower-paid members could not cope with any further cuts to their disposable income.

Meanwhile, the Government has confirmed that public service pensions are to be reduced by 2% for those over €32,500 rising to 5% for those over €90,000 — which would include former taoisigh, among them Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen.

Also, the 24/7 Frontline Alliance of emergency unions, including gardaí, nurses, and prison officers, is to meet tomorrow to decide how it will escalate its campaign against the cuts contained in the proposed deal, particularly premium payments upon which it says members are reliant.

The Labour Relations Commission’s formal recommendation on Croke Park II emerged yesterday evening and over the coming days unions will disseminate the affects in greater detail.

Unions will be expected to enter negotiations with management on cuts to more than 80 allowances which management sought by last year.

Asked if the Government would legislate to achieve the €1bn in savings if unions did not back the deal, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said: “We have to have the pay savings over this year, next year, and the year after. Otherwise, it is going to lead to unbearable expenditure cuts and cuts to public services and so on, and I don’t think anybody wants to go down that road.”

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